Wrapped in manicured gardens with views over Lake Windermere, Linthwaite House delivers 21st-century sophistication amid a rugged landscape. Rocky mountains and grassy fells – the sort eulogised by local poet William Wordsworth – loom beyond the lake, but this pocket of Edwardian domesticity lets you admire Nature at your leisure, sipping G&Ts as you watch Victorian steamers cruise across the lake. There’s nothing antiquated about the interiors, however: they’ve been swept into the present by bold patterns, fine fabrics and the owner’s personal art collection. Restaurant Stella adds a worldly finish, pairing ambrosial Italian flavours with the best of the Cumbrian countryside.
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A half-bottle of champagne in your room on arrival
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $191.25 (£150), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast. Fresh pastries, muesli, seasonal fruits, cheese and cold cuts make up the buffet, and the hot menu is full of classics made with locally sourced ingredients.
In-room massages can be arranged on request.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: smart TV with Bose Soundbar, pod coffee machine, safe.
Our favourite rooms
Rooms with a view are well worth the extra spend, as you’ll be overlooking the manicured gardens or the lake. If you’re happy to splash, book one of the suites: one has a telescope for stargazing, another has a private hot tub with views across Windermere.
Pack poetry by Wordsworth or Coleridge, two of the Lake District’s most famous inhabitants. The region’s beauty fired their imaginations, and its expansive landscapes often shine through in their poems and writing.
The public areas are wheelchair accessible, but there are no specially adapted rooms.
Dogs can stay for a flat fee of £25, which gets them a bed, bowl and daily treat. There are only three dog-friendly rooms so availability is limited, and they’re only allowed in the room and on the grounds, not in the public areas. See more pet-friendly hotels in Lake District.
All ages are welcome. A cot (free) can be added to any room. Some larger rooms have sofabeds; children under eight stay for free, those aged nine to 16 stay for £25 a night each. Babysitting is available from £15 an hour; two days’ notice is required.
In summer, ask for a table outside – you’ll be able to smell the gardens in full bloom.
As you please. People come to the lakes to roam the dramatic lacdscape, so you’re not expected to pack your Sunday best.
Stella is helmed by internationally-renowned chef Ritu Dalmia, who brings her love for Italian cooking to the Cumbrian countryside. The restaurant cuts a refined figure with green cocktail chairs, blue-leather sofas and a centrepiece of white orchids sprouting from a silver bowl. Paintings, sculpture, bronze chandeliers and geometric-patterned wallpaper add a contemporary finish. The menu has a Mediterranean lean, but the dishes also showcase the best of the local fields and waters. Try the local pan-seared scallops to start, followed by the parsnip and pecorino ravioli, served with a butter and sage sauce and topped with toasted almonds. If you’re hankering after a meat dish, you can’t go wrong with the smoked lamb cutlets, which are accompanied by a chickpea purée, glazed baby onions, Sicilian panella and parmentier potatoes. Stella is only open for dinner, but there’s an all-day menu of small plates and Florentine pizzas in the Bar & Conservatory.
The cocktail menu at the Bar & Conservatory takes guests on a taste tour of Italy via the lakes. Whatever the season, settle by the window with a Windermere Spring, an exotic blend of saffron, lime juice, vanilla and orange syrup with Peychaud's bitter. They’ve also got several local brews, including Windermere Gold and Hawkshead lager, which is brewed in nearby Kendal.
Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 10.30am; dinner is from 6pm to 9.45pm. The all-day menu is served in the Bar & Conservatory from noon to 6pm.
Linthwaite House overlooks Lake Windermere, the largest in the Lake District.
The closest airports are Manchester and Leeds Bradford; both are a two-hour drive from the hotel. The Smith24 team can arrange your flights and transfers; call day or night.
Services from London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly and Edinburgh stop at Oxenholme; transfers from there can be arranged from £26 each way or you can hop onto a regional service to Windermere and the hotel can arrange transfers from that station for £15 each way.
A car will definitely come in handy, as this is England at its remote and mountainous best. The drive from London takes around five hours; from Manchester, you can usually do it in just under two. There’s onsite parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
A region that inspired literary giants, the Lake District lays claim to some of the nation’s most stirring scenery. The first national park in Britain to win Unesco World Heritage status, it’s a place where a short walk can take you past lush meadows, snow-capped mountains and glassy lakes that are stained blood orange when the sun sets. Lake Windermere alone is over 10 miles long, so one of the best ways to see the area is from the water – Windermere Lake Cruises uses charming wooden vessels and offers a variety of tours. Walkers looking for a challenge can set their sights on Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. The climb doesn’t require any ropes or specialist kit, but it’s a steady slog and the weather can change on a dime, so make sure you’ve got supplies and a good waterproof. If hiking’s a bit slow for your tastes, try one of the more pulse-raising activities offered at Rookin House in Penrith. Quad biking, off-road driving and clay-pigeon shooting are just a few of the things on offer. If you’ve family in tow (or want to relive your childhood for an hour), make the short trip to Bowness-on-Windermere, home to the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. Potter was another member of the Lake District literati, and the museum pays homage to her vivid creations and talent for children’s tales.
Bowness-on-Windermere is arguably the foodie capital of the Lake District. If you’re in town and looking for caffeine fix or light lunch, stop in at the Country Hut, which does a roaring trade in cakes, coffee, charcuterie boards and English ales. For lunch or dinner, try pint-sized Porto, which looks like a traditional pub from the outside but is in fact a modern, award-winning restaurant. The kitchen call on Cumbria’s best suppliers for their ingredients, so you can be sure you’ll be getting the taste of the Lakes. For dinner with a difference, try the town’s most famous resident, L’Enclume. Chef Simon Rogan was one of the pioneers of the locally-sourced movement, and he draws most of his ingredients from the restaurant's own farm in the Cartmell valley. The dishes are creative, delicate and stylishly presented, and gastronomes come from all over the country to try them: book well in advance.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this country house hotel in the Lake District and unpacked their beer from nearby Hawkshead Brewery, a full account of their rural break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Linthwaite House in the Lake District…
If you like your natural beauty mingled with Edwardian glamour and a dash of la dolce vita, then Linthwaite House is the one for you. Built at the turn of 20th century, the former country home sits astride a small hill that descends to the banks of Windermere, England’s largest lake, often dotted with sailing boats and Victorian-era steam cruisers. Mossy mountains and untamed woods beckon from the opposite shore, but the hotel is as well heeled as the shoes of the merchant it was built for. Mock-Tudor beams, mullioned windows and an ivy-clad façade ensure plenty of traditional character, but a top-to-tail refit introduced bold patterns and bright fabrics to the design scheme, bringing the interiors into the 21st century. Finished with bronze chandeliers and art from the owner’s own collection, stylish restaurant Stella has a menu by renowned TV chef Ritu Dalmia, who’s united her love for Italian cuisine with the best of Cumbria’s farms and fields.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Linthwaite House’s Guestbook below.
The views over the lake and the hotel grounds. The WiFi works well too.
Don't expect the greatest dining experience. Dinner was good but I expected better from this class of establishment.
Stayed on 9 Jul 2019
The artwork and the overall ambiance.
A party or nightlife.
Stayed on 12 May 2019
We stayed in one of the Lake Suites and loved the accommodation – comfortable, spacious and quiet. The staff did an amazing job over Easter weekend and they even had an Easter egg hunt for the children. They were all very helpful and attentive. We had a lovely weekend and would definitely go back.
Don't expect the fastest service when it comes to food. That would be our only minor complaint.
Stayed on 19 Apr 2019
Superb levels of service, delicious food. Best breakfast ever.
Stayed on 17 Mar 2019
The tucked-away location, and views over the lake. The hidden pieces of artwork dotted throughout the hotel and grounds. The extensive gin and cocktail menu.
A lift, although the staff are more than happy to help with luggage.